Recent debate about U.S. media content or expression that is allegedly obscene - Research Paper Example

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The path to achieving this objective has however been marked by hurdles as explained in the article by US legal. These hurdles emanate from…
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Recent debate about U.S. media content or expression that is allegedly obscene
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Recent debate about U.S. media content or expression that is allegedly obscene Affiliation: :

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the one mandated by the US government to censor the media from all forms of obscenity. The path to achieving this objective has however been marked by hurdles as explained in the article by US legal. These hurdles emanate from different sources all of which have mandate from the government in some form of laws. These sources which have acted up to frustrate the efforts by the Federal Communications Commission include but are not limited to: Supreme Court and the constitution (First amendment).
The first amendment of the constitution guarantees freedom of expression to all US citizens. This therefore means that even the media have the freedom of expression to air whichever programs they want as they are protected by the law. On the other hand, the Supreme Court which is the highest court in US has mandate to revoke or amend laws and even change case rulings of the smaller courts. They can therefore change the laws of Federal Communications Commission if need be to in any case.
Cases have been documented whose ruling by the Supreme Court goes against the set laws by the Federal Communications Commission. One of the most famous of these cases is the FCC v. Pacifica Foundation and even another one between US and Fox stations over airing programs with obscene scenes between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm (which are the hours such programs are not supposed to be aired). The cases have been ruled in favor of the defense with them being charged only minimal fines or being released with warnings which is not the recommendation of Federal Communications Commission.
According to Overbeck and Belmas in their book “major principles of media law 2012”, the debate over which rules against obscenity by the media are to be followed and which legal or government institution’s laws are to be in-charge started a long way back. There are several cases documented as well and most of them are ruled by the Supreme Court and usually the ruling does not fully follow the laws by FCC.
The debate has therefore led to some media houses not being charged and others being over or under charged and hence not facing the full implications of their actions. This is especially so for medias like the internet where strict rules have not been enforced. The Supreme Court rules in favor of the first amendment in such cases especially because it is sometimes hard to provide evidence of such obscenity and hence ruling is either based on allegations or simply dismissed.
The first amendment does not protect material that is indecent and hence in such a case, the FCC laws are overridden since the constitution is what is majorly followed in cases where the laws seem to clash. Therefore, it is evident that if nothing is done by the government about the clashing of these censorship rules and laws and establish which are to be followed strictly, the alleged media obscenity and indecency will continue and so will the unjust rulings by the courts.
Overbeck, W. and Belmas, G. (2011). Major Principles of Media Law 2012. New York: Cengage Learning. advertising/content-regulation-obscene-profane-and-indecent-broadcasts/ Read More
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